Modern Standard Arabic vs. Egyptian Vernacular in Dubbing Animated Movies

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This study investigates the use of the two varieties of Arabic, namely Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the Egyptian vernacular (EV), in dubbing animated movies in the Arab world. The corpus of the study consists of the original English dialogue and the two dubbed Arabic versions of the movie “A Bug’s Life.” The corpus was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. In the qualitative analysis, the Arabic scripts of the MSA and EV versions were examined to spot the differences between the two rendered translations. This was realized by using corpus manager and text analysis software. For the quantitative analysis, a questionnaire was used as a data-collection instrument to elicit the participants’ reactions to the two varieties of Arabic. Quantitatively, the results showed that the participants were more in favor of the animations dubbed in the EV version than in the MSA one. The qualitative analysis showed that the quality of the EV dubbed version is better than its MSA counterpart, both linguistically and technically. The current study is quite significant as it probes into an important aspect of the audiovisual translation (AVT) domains, namely dubbing, which has gained great popularity in the Arab world in the last two decades. Finally, the study provides some implications and recommendations for further research on dubbing animated works.